Kurt Helin

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Agent says Spurs signed Argentina’s Nicolas Laprovittola for training camp

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The Spurs have had their eyes on Nicolas Laprovittola since the Rio Olympics, where he was Argentina’s backup point guard.

They got their man, Laprovittola has signed a deal to come to camp for the Spurs and compete for the 15th and final roster spot available, his agent said on Twitter, via the San Antonio Express-News (and confirmed later by Marc Stein of ESPN).

The Spurs will have three Argentineans at training camp after the agent for Nicolas Laprovittola announced Friday his client will join fellow Rio Olympians Manu Ginobili and Patricio Garino.

Agent Carlos Prunes said via Twitter that Laprovittola “will participate in the preseason of the Spurs” and is scheduled to travel with Garino to San Antonio this weekend.

Laprovittola averaged 8.2 points per game on 35 percent shooting in Rio, hitting 33 percent from three. He had 21 points against Spain on 5-of-14 shooting because he got to the line 11 times.

I was more impressed with Argentina’s starting point guard Facundo Campazzo in Rio. However, the Spurs have been so good identifying and developing diamonds in the rough we will wait and see how things go with Laprovittola.

That will be three Argentinians in camp for the Spurs. Of course there is the legend Manu Ginobili, plus they are bringing in rookie forward Patricio Garino.

Oh, there are lobs: The Clippers Top 10 plays of last season

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The Clippers have moved away from the “lob city” moniker recently.

But when you talk about Clipper highlights, there are going to be lobs. Nobody throws them as well as Chris Paul, and nobody finishes them like DeAndre Jordan. Throw in some Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford highlights, and you have something worth watching on a Friday night. Besides college football.

Kevin Seraphin says FC Barcelona stalled signing him, opening door for Pacers


After struggling last season with the Knicks, it seemed like Kevin Seraphin was out of the NBA. There wasn’t much interest from teams, but Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona was calling. Seraphin seemed ready to live on gambes a la planxa (shrimp and garlic) for a season.

Thursday, Seraphin signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers, which is fully guaranteed for this coming season.

What changed? Barcelona stalled, Seraphin told Hoopshype after inking his deal with Indy.

“Barcelona was my first option,” the French center told HoopsHype. “I talked to the GM. He called me. After that, I talked to the coach and they were my first option. But they made us wait. They were like, ‘We have to make room’. Then they told us they could not do it because they couldn’t make room. That’s when my new agent (Bouna Ndiaye) started calling teams in the NBA and seeing if we could get a deal. That’s why it took so long, because we were exploring that option first. I was looking forward to an opportunity to play a lot and show people what I can do. Since it didn’t happen with Barcelona, we looked at opportunities in the NBA… And then Barcelona came back! But it was too late then because we were in the process of talking to NBA teams, then I tried out with Indiana for a couple of days and now I’m with the Pacers.”

He who hesitates…

Financially this probably works out better for Seraphin, but he likely would have played more in Spain. The Pacers will start Myles Turner at the five, with Al Jefferson behind him. Seraphin will get a little run, and if he performs more like he did with the Wizards he will have a job next season with the Pacers or somewhere else.

If not, there is alway Spain. Tapas are amazing.

Warriors’ GM on this year’s team: “it’s gonna take some time to evolve”

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The Golden State Warriors are not going to win 73 games again.

There are a few reasons. For one, they don’t really want to. There is the lack of desire to chase that number again from players who felt it might have worn them out more before the playoffs. Another reason, a lot of breaks fell their way last season — staying healthy for one — and that may not happen again.

But the biggest reason 73 is off the table is this simple fact: These Warriors are not last year’s Warriors. Gone are Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa; in are Kevin DurantZaza Pachulia, and David West. You can argue this coming season’s team is better, but mostly they are different.

And different takes time to meld, something Golden State GM Bob Myers talked about in an appearance on KNBR’s Murph & Mac.

“I think a lot of people think we signed Durant and everything is great, which in reality, that is a really good thing. But we have a lot of new parts. This is not a team like last year’s team, where we could just hit training camp in stride. As much as we like our roster, it’s gonna take some time to evolve with guys like Durant, David West, [Zaza] Pachulia. We lost six guys. So even though we’re happy with the offseason, I do think we’re gonna have some turbulence….

“It takes time to develop chemistry. And that doesn’t happen in one day or one week or one month. It’s exciting. I think it’s gonna be a great process to watch unfold. But I do think because of the expectation level, probably the highest expectation you can ever put certainly on a Warriors team — even though I think a lot of people thought we would win the championship last year, I think people now are even having higher expectations. When you have that level of expectation, that’s where you want to be as an organization, but it also magnifies any adversity or any stretch of losing.”

When the Warriors start a little slow this season — not necessarily .500 slow through 20 games, but slower than some expect. That will mean hand-wringing in some quarters and analysis of what is going wrong. There will be rough spots at the end of games. Around the league, some fans and front offices will enjoy that.

The Warriors have to shrug it all off and follow the process. By Christmas they will have started to figure things out; by the All-Star break they will be the Warriors the rest of the league fears.

But November is not going to easy.

Kings’ Darren Collison accepts plea deal in domestic violence case; suspension expected to follow


Sacramento point guard Darren Collison was arrested and charged with two counts tied to a domestic abuse case in May where sheriff deputies had seen the “woman had visible injuries.”

Friday, Collison accepted a plea deal in the case that will include 20 days in jail (although he will not serve his time in a traditional jail) and three years probation. James Ham of CSNBayArea.com had the details.

According to the plea agreement, Collison received a 20-day jail sentence, which he will serve in an Alternative Sentencing Program, where he will work on community service projects overseen by Placer County. Collison will not serve any actual jail time.

The Kings’ training camp starts Sept. 27, it’s not clear if Collison will be available when camp opens. The county released a statement saying this was the appropriate punishment considering “the law and the standards of the county.”

Ham also had statements from Collison and the Kings.

The Kings released a statement: “Domestic violence is a serious issue across our nation and one that runs contrary to our organization’s values. We’re disappointed by Darren’s behavior and today he accepted full responsibility for his actions. He is committed to using this incident to help raise awareness through education of this critical issue in the community. We’re working with Darren and the NBA on the appropriate next steps.”

“Words cannot describe the feelings and regret that I have been experiencing the last few months,” Collison said in a statement. “My family and I found ourselves in such an unfamiliar situation and it has been a difficult few months. This is far from who I am as a person and not something I am proud of. I take full responsibility for my actions. I have apologized to my beautiful wife that I have known and loved since high schooI. I appreciate and am thankful for the love and understanding from my family, friends and supporters. Now it is time to put this behind us and move forward.”

The league is not going to let Collison move forward from this immediately — he will face a suspension from the league. The Hornets Jeff Taylor for 24 games following his guilty plea for domestic violence. Collison likely will face the same — and the league should come down hard on this. It is unacceptable. This is something worth being upset about far more than whether one sits or stands for an anthem.

For a Kings team trying to turn a corner with a new coach, new arena, and new uniforms, this is the last thing they needed.

The Kings recently signed Ty Lawson to a contract for the year to be Collison’s backup, and this potential outcome was likely part of the plan. After that, it’s Isaiah Cousins at the point.